5/20/2014

What lies beneath?

Scientists to embark on a 35,000-mile journey to discover more about bizarre translucent Gelata organisms living at the bottom of the sea

A team of scientists are to embark on a three-year underwater journey to discover more about organisms living in the depths of the world's oceans.
Expedition Aquatilis will cover 35,000 miles and will span the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The expedition's route is specifically designed around little-explored diving locations - and will focus on the study of gelatinous zooplankton.
Gelata are soft-shelled organisms that live at the very bottom of the sea. They are moved around by the sea's natural current and are vital to the ocean's ecosystems as they are at the bottom of the marine food chain.
Fish, crustaceans and marine mammals depend on smaller gelata as a food source. So far, 1000 species of gelata have been discovered - but it is thought they are a mere 20 per cent of all such creatures in the world's oceans. 
Little else is known about the organisms - hence the need for Expedition Aquatilis.
The team of 12 marine scientists will be travelling in a 70 ft custom-built, self-sufficient expedition vessel for their trip. They and are scheduled to depart from Marmaris, Turkey in the summer of 2015. 
Here, we put together a collection of some of the species already found by scientists.






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